In this special post particularly relevant to missionary kids, we share the words of Hannah Karg, daughter of Village Missionaries Jim & Lynette Karg. The Karg family moved from Harlan, Kansas, to Cotopaxi, Colorado, earlier this year. You will get a firsthand view of her thoughts upon learning that her family would be moving to a new Village Missions field.
For a more complete understanding of the issue, we invite you to read “A Child’s View of Church Planting,” an article recently posted by the Rural Matters Institute that also relates to missionary kids.
The Beginning of Hope
I’ve heard it said that in some moments, time stands still. These are the moments in which the world you’ve always known crumbles to the ground. In these moments, you are grasping for anything to hold on to, only to realize that you have nothing left.
“We have been asked to move to Colorado,” my parents say softly, hesitantly peeking up at me and my two brothers to search our faces for any reaction.
Those words hit me like a jet train going full speed. I stare blankly. There are no tears or protests that escape me. I am completely void of all emotion. I sit there, staring for what seems like hours.
I race out the door and hop onto my bike, without any idea where I am going. The only thought going through my brain is the need to escape. Maybe if I pedal fast enough, I can run away from the truth. Maybe when I come back, my parents will laugh and say it is all an elaborate joke. Maybe I will wake up and realize that it has all been a dream, a figment of my overactive imagination.
So I keep pedalling, and although I had felt empty minutes ago, emotions now brim up inside of me and start to overflow. They sneak out through my eyes, and fall softly on the pavement beneath my tires. I wind through the maze of roads and alleys that I know like the back of my hand. Houses and yards whip past me. Soon, the road underneath me shifts from pavement to the white rock of a county road. As I roll into the countryside, the fields are glimmering under the soft light of the evening sun. The intermittent tree or farmhouse interrupts the flowing landscape.
The fields end, and towering oaks line both sides of the road. Soon, I arrive at the bridge. I swing myself off of my bicycle and lean it against the rusted metal rail. Taking in my surroundings, my eyes truly see them for the first time. Before me lies the bridge, covered with bold, colorful graffiti from past lovers and graduating classes.
I walk underneath the overhanging railroad tracks, avoiding the ruts in the road that have been twisting ankles since before I ever arrived in this small town. Leaning over the cracking concrete barrier, I survey the broken-down dam, which is almost completely obscured by moss. The stagnant water from the small man-made pond below overwhelms my senses. The silence is deafening, interrupted only by the slight rustling of grass, the faint chirping of crickets, and the occasional splash in the water. The whole scene is cloaked in golden light from the sun that was balanced on the horizon.
All at once, the sobs that shake my entire body stop. I wipe away the tears that are slowly creeping down my cheeks. The whole world is still.
A soft whisper leaves my lips, barely audible.
A sudden calm comes over me. I sit there for seconds, or minutes, or hours, as the sun tips off the horizon and the world changes from golden hues to vibrant oranges and reds. I sit there, not knowing what my future holds, but wondering if in that town in Colorado, maybe there was someone just like me, looking up at the sky searching for something to hope in. As I look at the sunset, the ending of the day, I realize that it is not the end but that it brings the beginning of the night, which is different but still beautiful.
Hopping back onto my bike, I am still downcast, but there is an ounce more of hope than there was before, which is enough for now. As I wind through the roads and alleys of that little town, I feel like a stranger. Ladies chat as they walk down the streets, older men water their yards, and kids play catch. None of them stop to think twice about a girl with tear-stained eyes riding by. Time doesn’t stop for me. It doesn’t stop for anyone. I have only a few weeks or months left in this town that I love, and the clock is already ticking.